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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Multiplication table: As fast as you can, write it down on a paper!

I still struggling with the electrical problem in my rent house. So, these few days I just staying in the school for few days...in and out actually. The electrician already came yesterday and said to me that the problem is quite serious. I already contacted the landlord and hope he will help to sort this problem out as soon as possible.

Ok, that is not my main purpose of this entry for this time. Actually I just want to share something that I do with my year 6 pupils in learning and teaching mathematics. I believe that lots of mathematics teacher in Malaysia used multiplication table a lot to help their pupils to tackle mathematics problems for multiplication, division and fraction.

So do I. I used multiplication table a lot and really stressed the importance of it to my pupils too. Instead of let them memorize the multiplication table, I let my pupils write down on paper. I trained them to write down the multiplication table as fast as they can on paper. Practice makes perfect! So how to do this?

Everyday in my mathematics lesson for year 6, I will start the class by having 'writing down the multiplication table on paper' competition. It is very simple. You teach them how to do the multiplication table, asked them to do it themselves even though they need to count using their fingers and then you can start to do the competition everyday. (this is quite simple explanation but I believe if you are a math teacher, you know how to make the multiplication easier, as what you see on the picture above)

At first few day, maybe only the high achievers will do it correctly and quick. But once the other kids gets the idea, suddenly the competition will become very competitive. The high achiever can do the multiplication table only in just a few minutes! And then the others just left behind a few seconds... :D

As an encouragement to the class, every time they do the competition I will promote them with a sticker to the pupil that can finish it first! :D And pupil will the most sticker collections later will get surprise present...hehehe...Just to add some spice to the competition...

I have some reasons why I prefer my pupils write the multiplication table on paper rather than just memorize it in their head. I think after 2 years teaching in this school, I believe that my pupils will response a lot to the things that they can see in front of them. It avoid them from doing careless mistakes such as wrong place value and so on.

By doing it very fast, they can save their time when they were facing the examination paper for mathematics. As soon as they can start answering the questions, first thing to do is to write down the multiplication table and further with answering the questions!

I think it help them a lot! It maybe take some time and some effort at the beginning but I believe it worth it. Maybe it also sound familiar and simple, but day after day these Temiar pupils will be very confident in writing the multiplication table! This year, I will still use the same method for my year 6 pupils... :) Maybe other mathematics teacher have their own great ways in teaching their kids. As long as it will help your pupils in your place, just go with it! :D

p/s: having a glass of Milo O Ice while writing this entry in a restaurant! :D